President Levy Mwanawasa says he should be punished if he has also stolen from national resources.
Mr Mwanawasa said he does not see any reason why he should not be punished if he had
Speaking when he commissioned the Livingstone International Airport Runway extension
and civil works in Livingstone today, Mr Mwanawasa saidÂ when he follows up corruption cases, it does not mean that he is also guilty.
”US$46 million was lost in just one case tried in London. We have made that possible and when we do that it doesnt mean that we are also guilty. When anyone of us abuses facilities at his disposal , he will be punished,” he said.
Mr Mwanawasa reiterated that there would be no sacred cows in his government adding
that anyone who abuses his office will be punished.
”But it is being said that Levy you are facilitating this and we will do the same to you when you leave. You are welcome. If I have stolen I don’t see any reason why I should not be punished,” he said.
ZANIS reports from Livingstone that Mr Mwanawasa said he knew that the path he had
taken in pursuing corruption was a dangerous one but noted that someone had to start
the fight in order to save the country.
”I know that the path I have taken is a dangerous one both to me and my family. But
someone must start the fight, if we don’t, we are gone. They are saying that the MMD is full of thieves. I agree. Iam not saying we are clean. If we are found wanting, we should be punished,” he said.
Mr Mwanawasa said because his government had exercised integrity, the donor community had restored its confidence in government adding that the commissioning of
the extension and civil works done at Livingstone airport funded at a cost of US$14
million EurosÂ by the European Union was a testimony of the confidence the donor community had in the government.
He said the EU’s relationship was not as strong as it is now adding that things have, however, changed and that the EU had become a strong partner to Zambia because of the confidence it has in the new deal government.
Mr Mwanawasa said his administration has been able to disclose a number of malpractices in government which included the disclosure of the thefts of money.
”This demonstrates that we are transparent. Things were being stolen in the past that you did not know.Â US$46 million was lost in just one case tried in London
Mr Mwanawasa also noted that advocating for the new Constitution would neither put
food on the table nor develop the country.
He said some sectors of society felt that there would be no food, employment ,
marriage and development if the Constitution is not enacted.
”Dear colleagues, the new constitution will not put food on the table. What will do
is that you should elect leaders of integrity who are ready to work for Zambia. You should elect leaders who will generate confidence from donors,” he said.
The president, who arrived this morning to officially commission the newly rehabilitated Livingstone International Airport was accompanied by Finance Minister Ng’andu Magande, Transport and Communications minister Sara Sayifwanda, Tourism Minister Kabinga Pande and other senior government officials.